Now that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is behind us, it is time to re-focus our energies and look ahead to set new goals as we venture into a brand new year. For many of us, the past six weeks have been crammed with holiday parties and celebrations. Overeating and indulging in the numerous delicacies, rich foods and decadent sweets that have become synonymous with the holiday season have occupied most our time. We have all made New Years resolutions promising ourselves "this is the year I'm going to lose weight and get into shape with a regular exercise program". If you are like most people, you have probably already broken that promise. But fear not, it is never too late! We have put together some tips to get you motivated and to help keep you on track over the next several months.
So, get up, get out and start moving ! But remember, if you have been sedentary for a long time, are overweight, have a high risk of coronary heart disease or some other chronic health problem, see your doctor for a medical evaluation before beginning a physical activity program.
Tips for Exercising Success:
- Choose activities that are fun, not exhausting, and be sure to add variety. Try not to rely too much on one activity, instead, develop a repertoire of several you can enjoy. That way exercise will never seem boring or routine.
- Be sure to wear comfortable, properly fitted footwear along with comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that is appropriate for both the weather and the activity.
- Be consistent and find a convenient time and place to exercise. Try to make it a habit, like brushing your teeth, but be flexible as well. If you miss an exercise opportunity, be creative by working another activity into your day.
- Share your exercise time with others. Schedule a regular date with a family member, friend, or co-worker. You will keep each other motivated!
- At first, don't overdo it. Begin with a low-to moderate-level exercise program or activity. You can slowly increase the duration and intensity of your activity as you become more fit. Over time, work up to exercising three to four times per week for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Keep a record of your activities. Reward yourself at special milestones, but not with food.
Tips for Fitting Exercise into Your Daily Life:
What are the advantages of working out a home? It's convenient, comfortable, and safe. You can combine exercise with other activities like watching TV, or listening to the radio, and if you purchase exercise equipment, it's a one-time expense that can be used by other members of the family too. Always remember to keep the equipment repaired and most of all, use it! Besides conventional exercise, there are other ways to increase your activity and incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Here are a few pointers:
- Do housework, work in the garden, mow the lawn, and rake leaves. Remember, a rider lawn mower doesn't count!
- Go out for a short walk before breakfast or after dinner, or both! Start with 5-10 minutes and work up to 30 minutes. Pick up the pace from leisurely to brisk and choose a hilly route.
- Walk or bike to the corner store instead of driving.
- When doing errands around town, park further away at the shopping mall and walk the extra distance.
At the Office
For those of us who have sedentary jobs, there are a few tips to keep in mind in order to increase your physical activity during the work day.
- Stand while talking on the phone.
- Rather than using the telephone to speak to a co-worker, walk to their office.
- Instead of using the elevator, take the stairs.
- Get off the bus a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way to work or home.
- Walk around your building for a break during the workday or during lunch.
Source: American Heart Association